It’s back to the planning board for North Catholic High School.
Officials at Monday’s planning commission meeting delayed approval of a land development application for the new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School along 65 acres in Cranberry until their next meeting on. Feb. 27.
Ron Henshaw, Cranberry’s director of community development, said the commission had questions regarding traffic flow and the alignment of a new road the school proposed to build in the hopes of easing traffic. The yet unnamed roadway would lead from an intersection with Franklin Road and connect with Old Mars Crider Road.
Several Seven Fields residents with homes near the entrance to the school’s new site also spoke about their traffic concerns during Monday’s meeting.
Teri Kunes said while the proposed road would divert school traffic from her home, she was concerned it wouldn’t do the same for residents who live on the other side of her street.
“We just hope it isn’t too big of an increase in traffic for our neighbors,” she said.
Kunes, who also attended a Cranberry Planning Commission meeting in January to learn more about the school, said Henshaw has since given her copies of the school’s land development plans. She in turn has shared the plans with neighbors.
“I’ve had several people come to my house and look at the plans,” she said.
Henshaw said developers for North Catholic are expected to address the board’s questions at the next planning commission workshop meeting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the municipal center on Rochester Road. If the revised plans are approved at the commission’s regular meeting on March 5, they would next go before Cranberry’s board of supervisors for final approval
Cranberry’s board of supervisors already have given approval for developers to begin grading 37 acres at the school’s future home.
Michael Arnold, chief facilities officer for the Pittsburgh diocese, has said the plan is to begin grading the wooded land in March and begin building construction by May.
The school is to open in time for the 2013-14 school year, although Arnold said an auditorium, library and other areas not used for classrooms or administrative space might be added in later phases of construction.
Efforts to raise money for new North Catholic, which has a projected cost of $54-60 million, are ongoing. In the meantime, Arnold said the diocese would continue to move forward with plans for the school.